European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 49, Issue 5, pp 285–292 | Cite as

Antioxidant status of elite athletes remains impaired 2 weeks after a simulated altitude training camp

  • Vincent Pialoux
  • Julien V. Brugniaux
  • Edmond Rock
  • Andrzej Mazur
  • Laurent Schmitt
  • Jean-Paul Richalet
  • Paul Robach
  • Eric Clottes
  • Jean Coudert
  • Nicole Fellmann
  • Rémi Mounier
Original Contribution



It has been shown that the antioxidant status was altered by the “live high-train low” (LHTL) method, however, no information is available regarding the antioxidant restoration during the recovery period.

Aim of the study

We tested the hypothesis that the antioxidant status is impaired by 18 days LHTL in elite athletes and remained altered after 14 days of recovery.


Eleven elite cross-country skiers from the French Skiing Federation were submitted to 18-day endurance training. Six (hypoxic group; HG) trained at 1,200 m and lived in hypoxia (simulated altitude of 2,500 m–3,000 m–3,500 m) and 5 (control group; CG) trained and lived at 1,200 m. Plasma levels of advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP), malondialdehydes (MDA), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) lipid-soluble antioxidants (α-tocopherol, β-carotene and lycopene) were measured at rest, before (PRE), the first day after (POST1) and again 2 weeks (POST14) after the training. Intakes of vitamins A and E were evaluated from the dietary recording.


In POST1, FRAP and TEAC decreased in both groups, however, the TEAC decrease persisted in POST14 for HG only. Lycopene and β-carotene decreased in POST1 for HG and remained lower in POST14. Finally, AOPP increased only for HG in POST1. The general decline of antioxidant status for both groups might result from insufficient intakes in vitamins A and E.


This is the first study to show that the antioxidant status did not return to baseline 2 weeks after 18 days of LHTL training.


Intermittent hypoxia Endurance training Oxidative stress Antioxidant α-Tocopherol 



The authors gratefully thank the subjects for their contribution. This study was funded by the “International Olympic Committee”, the French “Ministère des sports” and the “Direction Régionale de la Jeunesse et des Sports de la Région Auvergne”.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing financial interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent Pialoux
    • 1
    • 2
  • Julien V. Brugniaux
    • 3
    • 4
  • Edmond Rock
    • 5
  • Andrzej Mazur
    • 5
  • Laurent Schmitt
    • 6
  • Jean-Paul Richalet
    • 4
  • Paul Robach
    • 4
    • 7
  • Eric Clottes
    • 8
  • Jean Coudert
    • 2
  • Nicole Fellmann
    • 2
  • Rémi Mounier
    • 9
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre de Recherche et d’Innovation sur le SportUniversité Claude Bernard Lyon 1Villeurbanne CedexFrance
  2. 2.Service de Médecine du Sport et des Explorations Fonctionnelles, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Clermont-Ferrand, Hôpital G. MontpiedUniversité d’AuvergneClermont-FerrandFrance
  3. 3.Neurovascular Research Laboratory, Faculty of Health, Science and SportUniversity of GlamorganSouth WalesUK
  4. 4.Laboratoire « Réponses cellulaires et fonctionnelles à l’hypoxie », EA 2363, A.R.P.EUniversité Paris 13Bobigny CedexFrance
  5. 5.Unité de Nutrition Humaine UMR 1019, Equipe Stress Métabolique et MicronutrimentsINRASaint Genès ChampanelleFrance
  6. 6.Centre National de Ski NordiquePrémanonFrance
  7. 7.Ecole Nationale de Ski et d’AlpinismeChamonixFrance
  8. 8.Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie StructuraleToulouseFrance
  9. 9.Institut CochinUniversité Paris Descartes, CNRS (UMR 8104), Inserm U567ParisFrance

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